Organized labor bet on City Controller, Wendy Greuel, with millions of direct and independent PAC contributions to become the next mayor of Los Angeles. Their involvement became the main issue, and in a low turnout election, voters rejected early frontrunner Greuel and elected City Council member, Eric Garcetti, by 8 points (54% to 46%).
The L.A. election serves an important message for Colorado municipal and state officials thinking of actions and legislation that tilt negotiations for government salaries and pensions toward organized self-interested groups.
Interestingly, Garcetti represents a new post-Latino leader. There was an initial discussion about if a person from an Italian grandfather and Mexican grandmother who lived in Mexico and a father and Jewish-American mother is sufficiently Hispanic to command the passion of voters from L.A.’s powerful Hispanic community.
The election results show Garcetti was the perfect candidate for the new diverse urban population. He won Eastside Latino and Westside Jewish votes, along with a significant bloc of fiscal conservatives and homeowners in L.A.’s huge Valley electorate.
See Los Angeles Times:
L.A. mayor’s race: It’s Eric Garcetti by wide margin
Steve Lopez: Labor unions the big loser in mayor’s race
USC Price/L.A. Times poll: Garcetti’s lead over Greuel at 7 percentage points in mayoral race
USC Price/L.A. Times poll calls Los Angeles mayoral race